Sunday, June 15, 2014

May We Have The Courage to Come Boldly unto Christ

I just listened to a Women’s Conference address by Sister Strathearn. 
Her talk was given May of 2014. 
I wrote down some key points she made that spoke to me and I would like to share with you.  
She opened with this profound question,

Do we allow our fears to replace our faith when it comes to our spiritual progression?

She went on to talk about the Children of Israel and why they were not permitted into the promised-land. In Hebrews 3:19:  
“So we see that they could not enter because of unbelief.”

Sis. S quoted D&C 84:23-24 and emphasized, “Moses plainly taught the Children of Israel…and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might see the face of God; but they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence;…” 
She then talked about the afflictions the children of Israel faced and then commented, 
“All of these incidents all emphasize the physical challenges the Israelite's faced and their immature understanding of God and His plan for them."
How often do we have an immature understanding of God's plan for us? 

"The Israelite's refused the opportunity to enter the presence of God because they allowed their fears of the thundering’s and lightening’s to cast out their faith.  Faith to believe the Lord’s Prophet when he taught then they could see God and enter His presence.  It was a fear to move to a higher spiritual level, it was a fear to have God come and live with them.”
How often do we let our fears of our "thundering's and lightening's " cast out our faith?  

“Do we sometimes allow fear to prevent us from hastening the work of our personal salvation by fearing to move to a higher level of consecration?  King Benjamin taught we are eternally indebted to our Heavenly Father to render to Him all that we have and all that we are.”

How do we render "all that we have and are?  
Sis. S. suggested we do that by allowing our will to be swallowed up in our Father’s will as Jesus did.

Elder Neal A Maxwell made this profound comment:  “So many of us are kept from eventual consecration because we mistakenly think that somehow by letting our will be swallowed up in the will of God, we lose our individuality.  What we are really worried about of course is not giving up self but rather selfish things.  Like our roles, our time, our preeminence, our possessions, no wonder we are instructed by the Savior to “lose ourselves.”  (Luke 9:24)  He is only asking us to lose our old self in order to find the new self.  This is part of what Benjamin’s sermon is all about to put off the natural man in order to come into our Spiritual inheritance; so it is not a question of losing one’s identity but of  finding it.”

Sis S. challenged us to “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)   
She shared the invitation that the Savior issued, 
“Come, all those who are heavy laden…”  
She continued to visit with us about how the Savior better than anyone understood our challenges and heartaches because "He had faced what we are called to face and more." 
She then quoted this comment from a bible commentary,

“Jesus does not merely contemplate our weakness from a safe distance.  He knows what it is like, for he came where we are and underwent temptations just as we do…His temptations were greater than ours because He did not yield.  The only person who knows the full force of given temptations is the one who resists it right to the end.  The one who gives in at some point along the way does not know the fierceness of the temptation that would follow at a later point.  But Jesus did not give in. He knows all the power and all the force of temptation, not only the small part sinners who give way know.”

She then invited us to “come boldly unto Christ.  With this instruction, "No matter where we are in our individual spiritual journeys the invitation to come is the call to have the Courage to strive for something more, the Courage not to settle for spiritual mediocrity,  the Courage to pay the price to enter the presence of God.  Our Father sent us here to become Gods and Goddesses.
Don’t get stuck at the base of your Mount Sinai.”

She then closed with these words, “Because of Christ’s Atonement we can move forward with confidence knowing that He understands better than any High Priest (see Hebrews 4:14-6) the difficulty and challenges we face along the say.
When we come boldly we can find grace when we need it most.”

May we all have the courage to “come boldly unto the throne of mercy and grace.”                

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